Thirty-one percent of Americans said they plan to go on a summer road trip, according to a new survey of more than 1,800 people from travel app GasBuddy. And that number could rise: 51% of those surveyed said they still haven’t made a decision about their summer travel plans, while only 18% said they had definitively ruled out a road trip.
“There could be a surge in last-minute, shorter road trips in the second half of summer as people continue to assess the situation,” Sarah McCrary, CEO of GasBuddy, said in the report.
Nevertheless, the number of Americans planning a road trip is down 44% from last year.
A majority of people said they were planning trips to visit friends and family, while smaller shares said they want to drive to a beach, lake or national park.
However, research shows that the low gas prices may not be here to stay as states continues to reopen their economies from the coronavirus-related shutdowns. While a gallon of gas averages less than $2 in 40 states nationwide, the national average prices has risen the past two weeks, according to travel membership organization AAA.
The boost in demand continues to push pump prices up around the country, as more states re-open businesses,” Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson, said in the report.
The coronavirus pandemic is having an effect on people’s travel plans, even if many are still planning getaways. Nearly half (48%) of those surveyed said they will be taking fewer road trips than planned, while 36% said they cancelled trips that required them to fly.
Among those who are planning road trips now, low gas prices are a factor. Thirty-six percent of people planning trips said that low gas prices impacted their decision. That’s a major shift from the past two years when roughly the same share of people said high prices were making them reconsider a road trip.